A wind instrument in the shape of a kudu horn, the Kuduzela, has been launched in South Africa and is expected to become synonymous with football in South Africa. Launched by the South African National Parks (SANParks) and First National Bank (FNB) the Kuduzela is a truly African icon, according to the chief executive officer of SANParks, Dr David Mabunda.
"Traditionally, in some African communities, the kudu horn has been used as an instrument to call people together for gatherings at the royal house or for a community imbizo but most importantly as a call to battle. Now the Kuduzela will fulfil the same role," said Dr Mabunda.
He said the Kuduzela would be used to call all South Africans, international guests and soccer fans to South Africa for a spectacular 2010 FIFA World Cup. Appropriately it will be calling the "warring parties" to the symbolic battlefield of soccer.Dr Mabunda said the Kuduzela sounded like a trumpeting elephant.
"When there's action near the goal mouth, you will hear the elephants going really crazy," he said, adding that describing the atmosphere in a stadium packed with thousands of fans blowing their Kuduzelas would be difficult.
A percentage of the manufacturing cost of the Kuduzela will go to a conservation project - Kids in Parks, an environmental education programme which helps learners explore South Africa's national parks and understand their place in the natural and cultural world.
By visiting national parks and engaging in hands-on experiences with the local flora and fauna, school children learn about ecology, natural history and the importance of caring for the natural habitat. Michael Jordaan, chief executive officer of FNB said: "The Kuduzela will not only give visitors a South African experience buta truly African experience as well. We believe that the Kuduzela will take pride of place in many a South African home, as well as at the centre of many South African future celebrations."
The Kuduzela is produced at the Vereeniging- based Kudu Kudu Manufacturing plant where they manufacture injection moulded vehicle parts. "The downturn in the economy and the subsequent slowdown in vehicle production, led the owners of the plant to look for innovative ways to keep the plant operational and their staff employed.
"Through innovation and lateral thinking, a section of the plant was adapted and a new business established to manufacture the Kuduzela, using as much recyclable plastic as possible," adds Jordaan. He urged South Africans to begin practicing as lip flexibility and lung capacity - in short, a fair amount of technique, where needed to get the right sound. - BuaNews